Yampa Valley Partners presents Moffat County Commission with community assessment

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At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:

• Awarded, 2-0, a $13,795 bid to Masterworks Mechanical to replace the rooftop air conditioning unit at the Moffat County Public Safety Center.

• Approved, 2-0, hiring a seasonal self-sufficiency case manager for the social services department.

• Approved, 2-0, Moffat County’s social services department managing Rio Blanco County’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

• Approved, 2-0, social services department’s monthly accounts payable for $314,858.25

• Approved, 2-0, the Moffat County assessor’s 2010 to 2011 valuation comparison.

Notes: Commission chairman Tom Mathers was absent. Commissioner Tom Gray served as chairman during the meeting. Sen. Jean White, R-Hayden, attended the meeting.

Moffat County jumped 15 spots from 2001 to 2009 in terms of wealthiest counties in the state, according to a presentation at Tuesday morning’s Moffat County Commission meeting.

In 2001, Moffat County ranked 39th out of 64 counties. In 2009, the county jumped to 24th.

The statistics are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and were used by Kate Nowak, executive director of Yampa Valley Partners, on Tuesday morning during her community assessment presentation to the three-member commission.

“The good news is that we have gotten wealthier in the last 10 years across the board,” Nowak said. “In fact, wealth in the Yampa Valley grew at a rate that was 20-percent higher than the rate of inflation.”

Nowak attributes the jump to energy and utility industries that account for numerous jobs in the county.

“One of the things that we’ve noticed, particularly in Moffat County, is because we are so stable with employment and high paying jobs, we have certainly faired the recession better than a lot of other areas in the state,” she said.

“You have to remember, though, that if we got wealthier, somebody else got poorer.”

While that may be true for other parts of the state, Moffat County’s economy hasn’t hurt its neighbors: Routt and Rio Blanco counties also experienced jumps in the state’s wealth ranking during the last 10 years.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Moffat County workers may have helped boost the economies in Routt and Rio Blanco counties because of workforce commuting trends.

Currently, 28 percent of local workers are employed outside of Moffat County, the vast majority commuting to Routt County for work.

“That regionalism is important,” Nowak said. “It’s good to have Moffat County as an anchor in the region.”

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